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Homeless Education - Staff

Contact Phone / Address Position / Responsibility
Dr. Claudia Sosa-Valderrama (562) 986-6870 x 242 Director, Student Support Services
Homeless Services Liaison
Susana A. Cortes, LCSW, PPSC (562) 986-6870 x.240 Program Specialist
Lead Social Worker
Maribel Gonzalez (562) 498-2324 Transitional Services Specialist
Kati Hoover, LCSW (562) 498-2324 School Social Worker
Xochitl Alicia Cervantes, ASW (562) 498-2324 School Social Worker
Wesley Manning, MSW (562) 498-2324 School Social Worker

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Homeless Education

Long Beach Unified School District educates over three thousand homeless students district wide.  District officials along with key community leaders created one of the most rigorous education programs ever for these very inspiring students. The program is called Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center. It has been recognized as one of the most academically successful homeless education programs in the country. The list of people who have come to read to Bethune students includes US Senator Jim Jeffords and Verizon spokesperson and actor, James Earl Jones.

Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center provides mental health assessment and support, health screenings, and social development activities. This program is successful because of its community partners. The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the Junior League of Long Beach, Assistance League/Rick Rackers, churches, synagogues, and corporate partners including Verizon and the Boeing Company bring the necessary extras that make a difference in the lives of these students. The LBEF identifies funds to support this unique educational structure.

On February 9, 2006, the community turned out for the Dedication Ceremony of the new facilities for Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center. This state-of-the-art facility and campus-like setting with trees and a big lawn for the children to play on was made possible by Los Angeles County Supervisor, Don Knabe. 

To read about the Dedication Ceremony and the history of Bethune Transitional Center, please click on this link: Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center

The Spirit of Sue Fund

The Spirit of Sue Fund honors the memory of a very special school educator, Suzanne (Sue) B. Fellenzer who served the city of Long Beach with distinction for more than 50 years as a teacher, administrator and elementary school principal in the Long Beach Unified School District. Sue passed away on January 8, 2002, at the age of 75, after a sudden illness. Her son, Jeff, has kept her memory alive through the Spirit of Sue Fund, a competitive grant opportunity for teachers and schools. If you would like to apply for a Spirit of Sue Fund Grant, please contact my office at (562) 997-8054.